Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So I am at Borders with my laptop, trying to revise our security policy. I am having difficulty concentrating because I am forced to listen to some guy wail about love, his soul, and jumping off a waterfall... The jumping off was my wishful thinking, not the song, though there was something about a waterfall there. When that song ended, I breathed a sigh of relief and got ready to work. Then... A country woman started singing about a four lane highway and that it was time for her to get a gun.  Do people who live by four lane highways normally buy guns? I don't get it. Apparently her daddy never had a gun. I am confused.. Help me!

Friday, February 18, 2011

On this Valentine's day, my husband (as romantic as he is) said, "Go get yourself $300 worth of stuff at a knitting store." Wheeeeee!  I know, people who are newly weds or just dating, this doesn't sound too exciting, but for me it was amazing! First of all, my husband remembered that I like to knit. He knows I like more exotic fibers, which cost more money. AND he remembered Valentine's Day! How cool is that? Seriously. The fact that he didn't get me the "stuff" from a knitting store is actually good as he wouldn't have known what to get. So, the bottom line is this: I have an awesome husband who gave me an awesome gift.

His plan, however, backfired. At least for him. I made him go to "Twisted" with me to get the "stuff". When we walked in, we were greeted by 6 women turning to see who was coming in and the hum of their spinning wheels. Apparently it was the spinning night. Not the gym kind of spinning. They were spinning various fibers into various yarns. I wonder if this spinning could be done while spinning. Hm... Something to think about. Maybe I will come up with an invention to improve one's physique and cardiovascular health while making quality yarn.

At the store, I got some Addi turbo circular needles and a bunch of "Baby Twisted" baby alpaca yarn. Just so you know, they don't kill the cute little baby alpacas. They shear them or brush them or pluck them or whatever. All I know is that the cute baby alpacas are very happy while I get this amazing knitting yarn. The color, by the way, is called "rose grey" and it is a natural color, but looks absolutely beautiful.

I decided to make a sweater for my husband with the said yarn.  I hope it is not too much of an undertaking for me, but I will keep you posted. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hello world! I'm back! At least I think I am. I have seriously neglected my duty to blog and I am sorry. I promise not to abandon you ever again. Ever. Seriously.

A lot has happened since I have written here, but in the grand scheme of things, I am still the same amazing, fun, awesome person I have always been. Just kidding. I am a rather sarcastic, dark personality, which can seem unpleasant. Even to me.

One thing I have not abandoned is knitting. In this time I've gone AWOL from here, I've knitted hats, socks, sweaters, scarves, and a lot more. If you can name it, I've knitted it. Needless to say, I have frequented most yarn stores in the Portland metro area (Twisted and For Yarn's Sake are my favorite ones).

Yesterday, I was driving on Canyon Rd and decided to stop by For Yarn's Sake to see if they would be kind enough to advise me how to turn a heel with the Magic Loop (a knitting technique).  I went in to browse and ask my questions. The owner was busy helping someone else at that moment, so I sat down on their couch to see if I could decipher it all by myself.

All of a sudden, I was startled by an obnoxiously loud Harley with a leather clad giant on top of it. He parked the bike and headed directly for the yarn store, looking all menacing. I watched him walk into the store and sit opposite of me on a chair. By this point, I was wondering when he will start either robbing the store, or killing people in it.

The man smiled at me in greeting, took out his knitting and started to knit. I must have looked stunned as I watched his tattooed hands working the needles with amazing dexterity and even grace, that he laughed and introduced himself as John. Or Jim. Or Josh.  I can't quite remember, but there it is.

What is the point of this story, you ask. I am not entirely sure, but if there is a point, it would be that everyone knits. Or that hard core Harley bikers can have sweet and gentle souls.  I wonder though, if John/Jim/Josh had ever stabbed anyone with the knitting needles... Hmm...

Till next time!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer is Here!

After the 40 days and nights of gloom, greyness, and rain, Portland has some sunshine! I am excited beyond description: I want to camp, I want to run, I want to bike, I want to live!

After all the rain, the slugs have been popping up like mushrooms... after rain. It seems like every time I come outside in the evening, there is an awful monster, getting ready to strike at me, should I step in his (or her) way to my daisies. I have seen slugs that most of you only dream about! Well, hopefully your dreams are more pleasant than those of ugly slugs, but the point is that I have encountered some very interesting and intimidating slugs lately.

So I have been slug hunting after dark, armed with a flashlight and enough salt to pickle 20 big barrels of tomatoes (yes, I like pickled tomatoes). The ones I see at night are usually your common garden variety brown, boring slugs. The one that traumatized me appeared in the day light, which I thought was strange.

It was approximately six inches long and about an inch in diameter, with a very peculiar color pattern. Well, you can see in the picture above, which I took of him before his demise. I think it was the Slug King himself. Don't you? I mean, look at him! Or maybe it was their Queen... I don't know. How does one tell what gender this piece of rubbery slime is? Really, if you know, please tell me. Do they even have genders?

But I digress. After measuring and documenting my find, I emptied a lot of salt on it. I was told that all it needed was a sprinkle of salt, but I was skeptical of that advice. The King/Queen looked far too intimidating and aggressive for only a sprinkle. Well... It is gone now. Rest in Peace, slug royalty.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What to make of it all...

I run up the dimly lit stairs, past the mail boxes on my right, to the second floor. I pause in front of the leather encased door to flat No. 12 and with a sinking feeling in my stomach listen for any sounds. All is quiet. I open the door and step into a long corridor with very high ceiling. The telephone on a hanging shelf on my right, coat closet on the left; splatters of dried blood on the old wood floor and on the white door to a bedroom.

I carefully step past that, trying not to make any noise, and go into my bedroom, which is a large room, rounded on one end, with a big west facing window. The window is open and evening summer air is filling my lungs. The room is empty. Only movement is the reddish orange squares of the sunset lit window reflecting on a beige wall.

I go to the window and look outside. Two giant birch trees stand still. The metro station is also silent. There are no people outside. The orange city buses are not moving. I smell the musty wood floors and hear them whine under my feet as I shift my weight. I suddenly realize that I am alone. There is no wind, no birds, no people, no bugs, and there is no God. The silence is pressing on me, the weight of it is becoming unbearable and I want to cry.

“Ok, Natasha… Time to turn over…” I hear my massage therapist, and am grateful to feel human hands on my back. And I'm ok again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What's the deal with make up?

It has been a while since I have last written here. I was going through a transition of sorts, and was mildly disoriented and not in the mood to share my thoughts. Something did happen, however, and yesterday I woke up with a determination to start using make up!

Yes, I know... Most women use make up, but I have never used it before for some reason. As I mentioned before, I am not a hippie: I do all the other womanly things, like shave my legs, pluck my eyebrows and take care of my finger nails and, on occasion, even toe nails. Make up was just not on that list, but now I was bursting with desire to make myself pretty.

I told my husband that I will get hussied up and then he will take me out. While it made him laugh, he didn't like the expression "hussied up". He said that it has a negative connotation and that I should not use it. Internet to the rescue! I looked the expression up and Wikionary (which we all know is reliable) states the following:

"This term is used almost exclusively with regards to women. It is also often used with an air of moral superiority, insinuating that the fact that the person being referred to is inferior for dressing in the way that they do. It is also commonly used when the manner of dressing is a recent change in their normal behavior."

Since it is a change in my normal behavior, I could freely use that term. And I did.

I have encountered a problem: I don't own any make up. That means shopping. I am not a traditional shopper in that I don't necessarily enjoy browsing stores endlessly looking for some unidentified object to buy. So I have identified objects that I needed to buy, which were foundation (it's not for houses anymore), mascara, and lipstick. Now I can go shopping.

I went to a nearby cosmetics store to obtain the magical items that would make me instantly pretty. I walked in, looked at rows of beautifying items and began my search. There was liquid foundation, powder foundation, foundation on a stick, fair foundation, fairly fair foundation, brown foundation. There was mascara of all sorts: black, blackest black, jet black, blue black, brown black, brown brown, mascara for volume, mascara for length, waterproof mascara, definition mascara... I did not name them all. I was getting ready to cry when some kind soul who worked at the store looked at my disoriented face and took pity on me.

I ended up with Bare Minerals fair foundation, brown black mascara, and some lipstick. Now I need to learn how to apply those. I don't want to end up looking as a brightly colored parrot or Mimi from the Drew Carey show.
I will let you know how my experiment goes.

Monday, April 26, 2010

On a Rainy Day

I recently discovered my homemaking side. I started knitting. And even though my niece says that I am doing that sixty years too early, I find it enjoyable and relaxing. I frequently will spin my recumbent bike, listen to an audiobook, and knit at the same time. Windows 7, eat your heart out!

Once in a while, when I feel the need for peripheral human interaction, I will go to a local Starbucks with my knitting, have some coffee, and watch unruly children run around and scream, all the while their parents are talking about the evils of capitalism amongst themselves.

Call me antisocial all you want, but to prove this accusation baseless, I will tell you that I made a friend! Her name is Wanda. Wanda is an elderly thin woman in her early 70s, who always sits by the fireplace at the above mentioned Starbucks and knits prayer shawls for a local hospital's chapel. I have always thought that it is very altruistic of her to donate her skills and time like that. Wanda has another talent: she makes my day a little more surreal every time I speak to her.

Today was one of those days when I was feeling a bit lonely and wanted to be among people. I took a shower, got dressed and drove 4 minutes downhill to reach the coffee shop. I walked in, put my laptop on a very comfortable armchair by the huge fireplace with a stone hearth and went to get my tall, extra hot, double cupped, one pump vanilla, light caramel caramel macchiato. My friend Wanda was already there, knitting as usual. I got my drink, which, by the way, was NOT extra hot, sat down and took out my unfinished black sock.

-Hi Wanda!
-Oh, hello, hello! Did you bring your homework today? (I am not sure what she is talking about).
-No, not today, just knitting.
-Is that cashmere? (feeling my knitting with her fingers)
-No, Wanda, it's alpaca.
-Alpaca? that's a good choice.
-Uh huh, it's soft and wears nicely.
-Such nice cashmere.
-It's alpaca.
-Oh, alpaca!
-Yes, Wanda, I bought it from a guy who has a herd of them near Salem.
-That is such nice cashmere... (still holding my knitting). Well, I will let you get back to your homework. (I still don't know what she is talking about.)

And so I started knitting... These will be awesome socks. From alpaca.